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Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 09:02:58 EDT

In response to Laurel's enquiry and Sinclair's reply, apart from "Laird" being an occupational description we of the surname Laird are very much a family of the same name, and in Caithness, as most of the families, including the Sinclairs, of Norse origin. In investigating our ancestry, we have yet to identify a Laird who was a Laird (in the landed sense). We have recently identified one real Laird (landed), William Laird of Glenhuntly in 1777, and are looking for more information about him. A variation of his Arms has also been found matriculated by a Laird in England. For the moment it is speculation that our original Norse name may have adapted to spelling in the same way as the Scottish "lord" or "landowner". In Western Norway, our point of origin, I have found old farm names beginning with "Leir", e.g. Leirvik, Leirdal and Leired. The Norwegian adjective "laerd" means scholarly,erudite, learned! On the other hand "leirdue" is a clay pigeon! There is a town and county in Sogn called Laerdal. In the south of Scotland we see the surname appear when one Roger Lawird of Berwick made an agreement with the Abbey of Kelso relating to his land of Waldefgat in 1257.Thomas le Lanerd of Peebleshire rendered homage in 1296. Laird sometimes appears in Orkney and Caithness as Leard and Leird. I am investigating the origins of the surname in Caithness, where Church records start around 1650. I have entered some of my findings in my webpage There is a thriving Laird Family Association in the USA with a webpage but the Laird family is not a clan in the traditional sense, and so my family is proud, with the Earl's permission, to wear the Sinclair Tartans and the Badge of Sinclair.

I believe the Lairds are a "mislaid" sept of Sinclair, as Caithness families by the name of Budge, Clyne, Lyall, Linklater and Mason are also considered to be Sinclairs. 100 years ago there were many of the surname Laird in Caithness and now there are but one or two. In the Norse tradition of our forbears, we continue to wander the world.

Yours aye

Iain Laird

Last changed: 00/05/17 09:16:36 [Clan Sinclair]